Special Order--Subject to Availability
This little volume really needs no introduction; the two sketches of which it is made explain and, I hope, justify themselves. But there is one phase of the President's many-sided character upon which I should like to lay especial emphasis, namely, his natural history bent and knowledge. Amid all his absorbing interests and masterful activities in other fields, his interest and his authority in practical natural history are by no means the least. I long ago had very direct proof of this statement. In some of my English sketches, following a visit to that island in 1882, I had, rather by implication than by positive statement, inclined to the opinion that the European forms of animal life were, as a rule, larger and more hardy and prolific than the corresponding forms in this country. Roosevelt could not let this statement or suggestion go unchallenged, and the letter which I received from him in 1892, touching these things, is of double interest at this time, as showing one phase of his radical Americanism, while it exhibits him as a thoroughgoing naturalist. I am sure my readers will welcome the gist of this letter. After some preliminary remarks he says: -- "The point of which I am speaking is where you say that the Old World forms of animal life are coarser, stronger, fiercer, and more fertile than those of the New World." (My statement was not quite so sweeping as this.) "Now I don't think that this is so; at least, comparing the forms which are typical of North America and of northern Asia and Europe, which together form but one province of animal life. John Burroughs.